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International Journal of Chemical Engineering
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 573149, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2010/573149
Research Article

The Use of Inorganic Packing Materials during Methane Biofiltration

Chemical Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, University of Sherbrooke, 2500 Boulevard de l'Université, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada J1K 2R1

Received 18 January 2010; Accepted 26 April 2010

Academic Editor: Yves Andrès

Copyright © 2010 Josiane Nikiema and Michèle Heitz. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The objective behind this study is to select a suitable inorganic packing material for methane biofiltration. Three packing materials are to be compared: two rock materials (average particles' sizes: 2 and 5 mm) and one porous clay particles (average particle size of 7 mm). The main parameter used to assess the efficiency of the packing material is the methane elimination capacity. The study reveals that the rock material having an average particle size around 2 mm is to be preferred. This result is probably due to its high specific surface area and to its good surface properties as compared to the other 2 tested porous materials. The influence of the nonirrigation with the nutrient solution of the biofilter is also investigated. It has been found that nonirrigation of biofilter causes the biofilter performance to decrease significantly (e.g., 45% decrease in 1 week) even with the humidification of the gas phase prior to its introduction into the biofilter.